Burglary teams broke into two high-end stores along the Mag Mile and escaped with over $100,000 in merchandise early Tuesday, according to separate CPD reports. A group also broke into a Lincoln Park footwear store, but they were apparently scared away by the alarm.
The biggest heists were at Burberry, 633 North Michigan, and Moose Knuckles, a winter clothing store at 54 East Walton where coats sell for over $1,000 each.
A CPD spokesperson, who did not mention Moose Knuckles by name, said a group of burglars pried the business’ front door open around 5:30 a.m. and took merchandise. A source said the store’s surveillance video system appeared to be malfunctioning at the time of the break-in.
The burglars’ bigger score came 20 minutes later when five men forced their way into Burberry’s flagship store in the heart of the Magnificent Mile. They loaded merchandise into a white SUV and fled north on Michigan Avenue, according to police.
They appeared to target the store’s first-floor handbag display. On Tuesday morning, a Burberry employee was restocking shelves and repairing display boxes that had been stripped of merchandise. Empty spaces still dotted three walls of handbag displays.
In Lincoln Park, the Allbirds footwear store had a very close call.
A police spokesperson said two burglars forced their way into a store on the 800 block of West Armitage around 4:28 a.m., but they left without taking anything because the alarm sounded. Allbirds is located at 843 West Armitage.
Retailers that stock high-end merchandise have fallen victim to theft teams night and day.
Monday, about ten thieves stormed into Cynthia’s Consignments, 2218 North Clybourn, and stole an estimated $50,000 worth of designer handbags just one day after the store was featured on WGN news.
On December 11, two men stole well over $1 million worth of luxury watches from a display at the Perillo Bentley, Rolls-Royce, and Lamborghini dealership at 834 North Rush. Earlier the same day, a group of between six and nine men stole over $20,000 worth of high-end winter coats from Moose Knuckles — the same store that burglars hit on Tuesday.
Investigators believe most of the burglaries and shoplifting mobs are part of an organized crime operation that sells the stolen merchandise on the black market and online.